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Ask Slashdot: Your Favorite Subscription Services? 223

An anonymous reader writes: What are some subscriptions services that you are paying for and love to pay? Please include music/movie services, news outlets, software, and courses.
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Ask Slashdot: Your Favorite Subscription Services?

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  • amazon prime (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maliqua ( 1316471 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:31PM (#54620221)

    Amazon prime is like 'fast china' you can buy something for $4 you pay $4 and $4 only then it shows up at your door

    • Or you can Amazon Prime, qualify for free shipping, wait eight days, and pick up from an Amazon Locker.

    • Sadly I have to agree I can get just about anything on amazon prime w/ free shipping then watch prime video... Since I live in the boonies I order a lot of stuff from amazon that I just can't buy locally. The last thing I got from amazon was an ignition coil for a riding mower, I could have driven 60 miles and picked one up but that's a waste of time and gas.

    • Amazon prime is like 'fast china' you can buy something for $4 you pay $4 and $4 only then it shows up at your door

      I agree Amazon Prime.

      The other one for me, being a Canadian and a hockey fan, is NHL TV (Game Center Live).

      I get all of the NHL games, except for local blackouts. It lets me follow the Oilers even though I am on the East coast through game replays and recaps.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Maybe it's just the UK version, but I find Amazon Prime isn't really worth it. Often the stuff you want is not available with Prime, or it is but costs more than the version without so you are effectively paying for fast shipping on it anyway.

      If the range was better or Prime was about 1/4th the price it might be worth it.

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:33PM (#54620243) Homepage
    Of course!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My UseNet and NZB Indexer Subscriptions save me from all the HBO piracy threats, and costs a fraction of what a CableTV subscription costs..

  • I don't even ever use the free games with PSPlus, I just find it invaluable for the fact it can store all your save game files on Sony servers, in case for some reason you need to wipe your PS4 you don't lose potentially a lot of invested time...

    Yes you can also back it up manually, for free. But come on, who does that regularly? Automated backups are the only way to be sure.

    • Automated backups are the only way to be sure.

      Nuke your backups from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  • Linux Weekly News (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:39PM (#54620295)

    LWN is an invaluable resource for keeping track of Linux kernel development.

    • by Yenya ( 12004 )


      I can't believe that on the "News for nerds" site, the above comment is hiden somewhere with score 0. Yes, LWN is about the only subscription which is not only worth paying for, but where you can literally see that the money is spent on a good thing, on an effort of tracking the changes, documenting things, etc.

  • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:41PM (#54620333)

    I don't particularly 'love' giving money to anyone. The particularly shitty thing with these subscription based streaming services is that you're just renting content. You never 'own' any of it; and at the end you have fuck-all to show for your expense.

    Tis the same approach used to keep people poor forever -- (this is of course a minor case, but illustrative.) And sadly the direction our society seems to be heading on a few fronts.
    Don't buy a house, just rent.
    Don't buy a car, lease it.
    Software as a service
    Interest only loans etc.

    From a cost/benefit perspective; spotify and netflix are 'worth it', but that's about it. (For now; they love playing hanky with what content is available, not to mention arbitrary geoblocking bullshit.)

    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      From a cost/benefit perspective; spotify and netflix are 'worth it', but that's about it. (For now; they love playing hanky with what content is available, not to mention arbitrary geoblocking bullshit.)

      My VPN subscription is "worth it" too. Also, that's a way to get around "arbitrary geoblocking bullshit."

    • The particularly shitty thing with these subscription based streaming services is that you're just renting content. You never 'own' any of it; and at the end you have fuck-all to show for your expense.

      I don't have a problem with that in itself, as long as the deal is clear. I used to rent tapes or discs from bricks and mortar rental stores too, and I paid a lot less for something I was only interested in watching once that way than I would have if I'd had to buy everything as a permanent copy. That experience and hopefully enjoyment is what I had to show for my expense afterwards.

      Where I think things get hazy is when something walks like a purchase and quacks like a purchase (and is priced like a purchas

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Yes, you can't 'buy' an ebook or movie for the most part. Plenty of vendors line up to make you feel like you are, but if that vendor goes away, so too do your purchases.

        Music was lucky, at the time digital distribution of that went popular and precedents got set, DRM was not viable yet. They *tried* and it was terrible and consequently I can get digital copies of music legitimately without DRM.

        Books and movies though... There isn't much of a way to legitimately acquire those without DRM...

        • I have a house full of movies and books acquired without DRM, many of them this year.

          If we're talking about e-books specifically, then yes, I agree that is more of a problem. But in that case, I suspect it's a problem that could be solved simply through transparency and market forces.

          I am increasingly of the view that tech industries should be subject to the same heavy regulatory rules on marketing and "packaging" as the tobacco industry. Sure, you can "sell" someone an e-book that you have the ability to d

    • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:26PM (#54620841)

      Property tax.

      You have to pay it every year, and if you don't the government will throw you out of your house and sell it to pay off your tax debt. They can call it a tax all they want, but it's rent. The dynamic is exactly the same. Pay a recurring sum without end or be evicted. Rent.

      Everyone in the US is renting their home from the government.

      • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:42PM (#54621025)

        If you rent your house, you are funding the upkeep and property tax for the owner, plus the owner gets profit.

        If you 'own' your house, sure you are still paying property tax, but you are not funding the landlord.

        For example, when I rented, I spent about 12k/year to use half of one bedroom of a two bedroom townhouse.

        Now I pay about 2k/year in taxes for full use of a three bedroom house in the same area (having long paid off the mortgage).

        The issue is that so many people view car loans and mortgages as eternal things, and compare rent or lease payment to those loan payments and think 'well it costs the same'. I've seen this to the extreme of someone getting a new car every two years because 'well, it's not like it's any more expensive, the monthly payment is the same, why should I pay the same to drive a two year old card as a brand new car?'

        • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @05:25PM (#54621515) Journal

          You totally missed the point of the GP. This is not about quantity at all. It doesn't matter if the government wants $2 or $2 million. If you don't pay it, they take your property and kick you out just like a landlord would. It's a perfectly appropriate analogy.

          Personally, I'm not inherently opposed to property tax, though I would much rather see services paid for a different way if possible. They really NEED to codify a hard cap for property tax percentage. The part about property tax that bothers me is that they are willing to ratchet up the percentage to laughable levels. When I was a child, it would take 100+ years to pay in property taxes what the value of the property was (1%). Now we're at a level of about 30-35 years (~3%). Nobody cared when home values were rising exponentially. But now that prices have stabilized in most places, it seems absurd that the government can take an increasingly large slice of your assets, and they need to precisely because home values aren't going up, yet they need more and more revenue. At some point, owning a property becomes a liability (what if the government taxed at 10%, or 25%?). My math says we're really close to that tipping point (approximately 3.5%), where the value taken by taxes harms the value of the home more than the services they're paying for.

          We need to pay for schools and roads and parks and libraries, but paying for those through property taxes makes us serfs of the state. Even though yours is $2k/year, you are still under serfdom, it's just a lighter load.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by dugancent ( 2616577 )

            Can't speak for other states, but Indiana has a property tax cap set as amendment in the state constitution. It passed around 2010 or so.

            "Property tax rates in Indiana are capped a maximum of 1% of value for residential, 2% of value for rental and farmland, and 3% of value for all other types (the actual rates may be higher, but the maximum paid after deductions is capped through a "circuit breaker" tax credit)."

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by kanwisch ( 202654 )

              And having lived 10 years in IN, my experience is that the quality of schools shows it. A top-level private education turned out to be roughly equivalent to public schools in IA. The roads outside Indy were atrocious, too, and it was the first state in which I observed paved roads being rolled back to gravel.

              You do get what you pay for, IMHO.

      • They can call it a tax all they want, but it's rent. The dynamic is exactly the same.

        No, it's not -- there are things in common, but it is not "exactly the same."

        If I rent a house, take a sledgehammer to the wall and call my landlord, there will be consequences. If I own a house and do the same, the relevant tax authority likely won't care.

        The money from rent goes to the owner. If the owner wants to invest it, spend it on blackjack, or light it on fire, that's really none of your concern. Tax money goes to the state, and it *is* your concern -- and the concern of every citizen -- what

    • Re:none. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @05:03PM (#54621289)

      Why does it matter if 'at the end' you have nothing to show for it? Have you never eaten a meal that provided flavor or nutrition above mere sustenance? Have you never attended a concert or gone to a movie? Have you never taken a vacation? All of those things leave you with 'nothing at the end to show for your expense'.

      A more sane approach would be 'how much value do you get from owning vs renting'? For me, and I suspect a lot of other people, the value of an entertainment dollar comes from how much enjoyment you get from it. I can spend $10/month on a subscription movie service and watch a different movie every weekend. Or, I can spend the $10 buying a copy of a movie, watching it one weekend and spending the other three weekends diving into my collection of movies like Scrooge McDuck saying 'look how much I own!'. I would get much more enjoyment, thus value, out of the first.

      As another poster said, people used to rent movies from brick-and-mortar stores. That business started dying off when the price to own a movie came down low enough. But the reason owning was seen as preferable wasn't so much 'look at all the stuff I own' as it was simple convenience. If you wanted to rent a movie you had to go to the store, hope they had a movie you wanted to see, go home and watch it, then return it to the store. By purchasing it you could watch it when you wanted, even if it was only once, and not have to deal with that hassle. That was worth money. When Netflix came out with DVD rentals that provided convenience at an even lower price than owning. Then when streaming came out it was even easier and cheaper to watch movies.

  • Magazines - NY'er (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've been getting the New Yorker (not to be confused with New York) for about 15 years and it's among the best money I've spent. The long-form journalism is unbeatable- you get great detail about a wide variety of subjects. I'm a fan of the print issue so you can have it around anytime and anywhere (plus the long articles are hard to read on devices).

    It's also fun to pair it with magazines like Harper's and the Atlantic- you start to realize that some subjects will just make the rounds, and if you see it

  • MAGA Weekly (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's only available in a Russian language version, though

  • Quite a few (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I am paying for Pandora for no ads, Netflix (streaming + DVDs), Prime for shipping and TV, and HideMyIP for VPN services. I feel like all of them are an ok value. Then I donate to my local NPR station and subscribe to the Washington Post, because someone needs to keep actual journalists employed.

  • For me it's Amazon Prime and Netflix DVD (so I can get everything, unlike Netflix Streaming).

  • The Digital Library [] is an add-on to a normal ACM Membership [] that gives access to journals and publications going back decades, as well as access to a selection of modern textbooks and technical books.

    It doubles the cost of the annual ACM membership, but I can think of a few times where a few hours spent reading old journals has saved me a week of hacking around because someone had previously proved a solution to a problem I was trying to solve.

  • Netflix is the only thing worth its price. And I'm in Canada.

    Everything else is just overpriced crap.

  • Don't know what I'd do without my monthly fix of Goofus and Gallant [].

  • I like watching old wrestling so for 10 bucks a month the WWE network is perfect. plus all the new PPVs included instead of 50-60 bucks like on the cable systems
  • Audible is my jam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Coldeagle ( 624205 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:48PM (#54620435)
    Audible is my favorite service, I've been an audible customer for over a dozen years and have over 800 books in my audible library. They're the ones I can't do without.

    I also subscribe to Hulu, Netflix, Playstation Vue (cable replacement), HBO Now, and Amazon Prime (also use it for add free music, their free version of music has a pretty wide selection, you don't have to pay extra).
  • No, really! Thankyou, Recology! Wish you wouldn't come at 5:00AM!!
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:48PM (#54620441)
    I probably spend about 5x the effort of paying for subscriptions finding ways around them. The intellectual reward is worth the extra time - it's like a real-world puzzle. With the glut of entertainment available today, the thrill of unlocking a [game]/[show] /[book] seems to make it worth consuming.
  • Private Eye (Score:5, Insightful)

    by coastwalker ( 307620 ) <acoastwalker@hotmail. c o m> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:49PM (#54620447) Homepage

    In the UK Private Eye is not just entertaining but it holds to account our masters.

  • The electric company subscription service provides the voltage and amperage I need (all the time) when I need it (right now.) Without it, life would be very difficsy8907^#!Z NO CARRIER

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:50PM (#54620471)
    The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
    • I'm the WSJ. I'd get the NYT, but it's not required for a job or any interests, so not shelling all that cash for it.
    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      I agree with the NYT. I'm only a recent subscriber, but I find it covers my interests pretty well. If I want breaking news, I can get that with some of the best reporting in the country (and it will even buzz my phone to alert me, probably more often than I'd like). On other days, if I just want to read about travel destinations or check out movie reviews or read about books, I can do that, too. It's kind of like what they say about cameras: the only "good" camera is the one you actually leave the house wit

  • by kav2k ( 1545689 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:52PM (#54620489)

    GitHub for private repos.
    Adobe CC photography bundle (PS + LR).
    Dropbox for convenient cloud storage.
    Spotify for my music needs (and if I do buy music, I tend to only do so through Bandcamp).
    The Old Reader to help me drown in the hundreds of feeds I follow.

    One VPS provider for random small needs + domain fees.
    One VPN provider for peace of mind in some situations.

    And many donations to content creators. Mostly with Patreon. I'd consider that subscriptions.

    I wish YouTube Red as available in my country; I would pay it just for the ad-free experience where I know content creators are still compensated.

  • GitHub (Score:4, Informative)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:56PM (#54620525) Homepage

    We're all techies here, right? Seriously, GitHub. The $7/mo or whatever it is has served me a hell of a lot better than my previous setup using a free GitLab deployment locally.

  • --EOM--
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Police, Fire Dept., Roads, etc. I admit, I can't live without it.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aquabat ( 724032 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:06PM (#54620619) Journal
    Loving a service is one thing, but if you love paying the bill, there's something seriously wrong with you. (No offence).
  • Other than union dues I only pay rent, utilities, insurance, mobile phone and internet. I would pay for my local printed news if i had to, (although I would probably get an electronic edition). Used to pay for cable, but when I realized I hadn't turned on the TV for six months out it went and cable was cancelled.

  • * Favorite kind of pet
    * Favorite ice cream flavor

  • It's something like $15 every 10 years, and the license is a barrier to entry that keeps the airwaves a little more civilized.
  • As free online news sites, and Yahoo in particular, have degenerated to the point of uselessness, I now subscribe to digital New York Times and Washington Post, and don't mind paying for them. Somebody has to pay all those reporters and editors, online advertising clearly isn't going to be sufficient. This, I believe (and hope), is the future of news: a few prominent players, each with tens of millions of subscribers paying a fee small enough that it just isn't worth it to cheat with workarounds. Free s
  • Protonmail (and perhaps ProtonVPN when it launches)
    A few Jetbrains IDEs
  • Wow. I'm first to say that? []

    I get to fund a comic whose work I enjoy. I get to fund at the amount I want. And a comic strip writer gets to earn a living.

    I think that's pretty fabulous.

    • I absolutely agree. It's amazing how much value there is for content creators when they can budget based on a set amount of income every month. Special perks for me, and I help fund something that entertains me or that I think makes the world a better place. That's seriously cool.

    • Right, Patreon is one of the few things I enjoy paying for in life. I like the ability to help people quit their day-jobs and spend their time working to create something that fascinates me.
  • Apple Music
    Hulu Plus (no commercials tier)
    Amazon Prime (video and free shipping)
    Adobe Creative Cloud

  • Mark Levin is brilliant, Steven Crowder I find hilarious, and really that's all the time I have normally. I have watched some of the other shows and they are good too.

  • Pretty much anything you pay for online is you paying for the 'privilege' of being surveilled, spyed on, and data-mined.
  • Feedly
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:27PM (#54620847)

    Can't stand much in the way of local grocery stores.. everything they sell is so tiny I sometimes wonder if their customers are 1ft high miniature people.

    Packaging to actual product surface area is outright ridiculous.

  • Because:

    1) A tendency to be of higher quality, and less hyper-partisan and out-of-touch;

    2) A strong tendency for more serious consideration of issues and ideas; and

    3) Reading a screen sucks and good luck remembering what you have in your records with a short glance.

  • I personally don't subscribe to anything unless you count electricity

    • Why wouldn't we count electricity? or cable TV? or internet? or telephone service?

      I'm not really sure where you are deciding to draw the line on what a subscription is or is not.

  • by Average ( 648 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:40PM (#54621003)

    Two things that make me more productive... and sadly my workplace is too nickel-and-dime to actually buy for me.

    The JetBrains IDE all-access pass. I didn't like IDEs until JetBrains. Eclipse... still not friends with. All the extendable code editors (Sublime, Atom, whatever)... meh. IDEA, RubyMine, PyCharm, PHPStorm? F. Ing. Brilliant. When I see people stumbling through without code completion and good breakpoint debuggers (and that's very common in scripting-language web development to this day)... it's like I'm on cheat mode.

    And I debate it but keep up my subscription to O'Reilly (and partners) Safari Books Online, because I have it locked in from a special at $199/yr. At double that (the normal rate), I'm not sure it'd be worth it, but I use it just enough that having virtually every IT book I need available is worth $0.75 a day to me.

  • Crunchyroll (Score:4, Informative)

    by smallmj ( 69620 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:42PM (#54621031)

    Crunchyroll, for the huge library of subtitled Anime.

    • And for having new episodes available only hours after it has been broadcasted in Japan. For example, it looks like there is a simulcast of a new episode of Boruto tonight at 2:25am PST. I'm not a big enough fan to actually stay up that late for it, but it's nice that to have the option available.

  • I have subscriptions to other things, but I feel like I get really great value out of those three. Music especially... before I tried it I said I'd never do subscription music. After I tried it, I'll never go back to buying individual songs or albums. Ad-free YouTube is a nice side-benefit.

    I do feel like my Netflix subscription has decreased in value, though. It's now really only good for the original content (much of which is great). I almost never find any movies I want to watch.

    I also need to look in

  • IRS (Score:4, Funny)

    by LordHighExecutioner ( 4245243 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @04:59PM (#54621223)
    Unfortunately I still don't know how to unsubscribe.
    • You can if you renounce your citizenship and leave the country, and you won't get a tax bill after about 2 years. A less complicated way is to stop making money, you won't have to pay, but you technically still have to file for at least one more year. A sure way to leave club IRS is to die.

  • Sirius XM radio since December 2005, and Adobe Photoshop / Lightroom since it became available. I couldn't afford Photoshop without the CC subscription. I'd rather put pins in my eyes than use Gimp, and Corel PaintShop Pro has color bugs going back many years. I use Photoshop filters, and other hosts just don't work right with them. I also like Photoshop's healing tool, as I'm scanning and editing images that go back to the 1800s. Sirius XM is one of the few remaining services I can find decent new-age, c
    • I'll second this. I've been listening to hair metal, classic rock, bluegrass, blues, and new wave. It's a service that works in my car without the need for an internet connection, and there's something very cool about that. I do wish the electronica music was better. I have yet to find a station that plays anything along the lines of John Digweed or Nick Warren mixes from the range of about 1998 - 2005.
  • Roads and schools are pretty nice to have.

    • by cogeek ( 2425448 )
      In my state the State and local governments pay for roads and schools. The Federal government extorts the State governments with unreasonably high federal income taxes on its citizens and then gives back a small percentage of that amount so long as the State agrees to whatever conditions the Federal government places on the return of the funds. Just how the founding fathers envisioned our system working!
      • by johanw ( 1001493 )

        The world has changed since the founding fathers. Their ideas might have worked for a low-tech agricultural society with a low population density, not for todays megacities.

  • Power, water, electricity, cable, etc. :P

  • to be precise
  • My VPN service (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johanw ( 1001493 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @05:55PM (#54621727)

    So I can get easily to the Pirate Bay and don't pay for anythging else.

  • Well, the bill isn't something I like, but compared to how much I've learned since subscibing I'm really hlad I did. I subscribed to Pact's much cheaper service before that and liked it so much I "upgraded" to Safari. Before that, I used the Kindle, but math equations are handled so poorly on it, I found it unusable for anything programming related. And I find I read a lot more useful stuff if I can examine the whole book without committing to buy it. And it doesn't bother me if I'm only interested in o

  • by AF_Cheddar_Head ( 1186601 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @06:05PM (#54621797)

    Get my sports fix without having to pay the cable or satellite providers.

  • I have many services leaching off my credit card (NetFlix, YouTube Red, etc) but my favorites are:
    • Cloud9 []: Excellent, full feature Linux/Web development tool you access from a browser, anywhere
    • Inoreader []: This is the replacement for the departed Google Reader. Excellent
    • Adobe Creative Cloud []: OK, full disclosure, I get it free through work. But I'd still pay for it anyway if I had to
  • YouTube Red. Nuf sed.

  • by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:00PM (#54622211)

    I'm a non cable subscriber- not a "cord cutter" since my tv viewing still comes via a cord at home...

    3.CBS All Access
    4.Sling TV
    5.Amazon Prime
    6. AT&T Gigapower.

    For software/computer related stuff
    1. BackBlaze
    2. Resharper
    3. Pluralsight

    And because I don't do manual labor....

    1. A lawn service.

  • Hulu. Netflix. Amazon Web Services.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker